A multibillionaire capitalist sees need for economic reform

Finally, a TED talk I’ve seen that’s actually provocative and interesting. Seems like that’s rare these days:

I especially like his description of, and challenge to, neoclassical economics. Once again this will fly past some ideologues, who try to fit his work into the shallow left/right dichotomy, rather than what he’s actually saying.

Another View On Detroit

Salon says don’t buy the conservative myths about Detroit, and calls out conservatives for being highly selective in the data they choose to look at.

Without particularly taking sides here, I will note that for years now I have bewailed much of the intellectual Left for a seemingly common inability to answer the most basic economic arguments brought forth by conservatives, which has frustrated me no end because I have long viewed conservative and libertarian arguments as having merits but also having weaknesses, and I truly believe in a process whereby through rational discussion we can arrive at optimal answers when parties from all perspectives join in the engagement of ideas and not just name-calling.

(And no, before you ask, I do not consider Paul Krugman worth reading, ever, because he is a partisan hack first and an economist second, Nobel prize be damned. You can’t trust one word he writes on anything.)

There’s still some name-calling there in the Salon piece, but it’s at least a to-the-point rebuttal to the claims of how we got here and what the solutions are that’s more than just generalities. To my eye anyway.

The truth of the matter is that I care less and less about left vs right pissing matches, as both sides annoy the crap out of me, and I increasingly pay less and less attention to anything other than concrete plans of action.

4 out of 5 experiencing poverty in US

Hmm. 4 out of 5 Americans facing poverty?

Does anyone know how to get ahold of the methodology and raw data on this survey? Although I believe we are in times of severe economic uncertainty, something about the description here strikes me as fishy. Bugger arguments over what the causes are, it’d be best to know what exactly they’re talking about before even having that discussion.